John Carver it is then we assume…

That is the unequivocal message being read into recent comments from one Lee Charnley regarding the fan support and the club’s backing of John Carver.

Never, amongst any of the howls of derision and downright verbal abuse hurled at Pardew, did Charnley ever feel the need to come out and back his manager in the way that he has done for Carver. This being over a rather minor incitement by the fans in the Palace away game.

The first thought we all had was that this was paving the way for John Carver to get the job full-time come the summer, barring a complete implosion and catastrophic failure for the rest of the season.

(To feature like Down Under Mag, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

But rather than the board and owner back their man in the January window to give him a squad to excel (or at least compete) with, they have put the emphasis firmly on the fans to ‘back the head coach’ more.

We all know the squad is in dire need of a revamp and strengthening, but this doesn’t excuse the fact that the man himself has claimed that 1 win from 6 PL games is “not bad in this league”, despite that run contained limp draws to the likes of Burnley, Stoke and Palace, not to mention an additional woeful cup defeat to Leicester and our only win coming against a poor Hull side.

No offence John, but that is relegation form, not something that ‘isn’t too bad’.

This does raise concerns about what the owner has in store for the coming season.  Are we going to limp along with as little investment as possible before a sale as soon as Rangers are back in the mix of the SPL?  Is John Carver just a cheaper option and one so desperate for the job that he will take whatever Ashley hands out with a smile?

If alarm bells weren’t ringing before, there is an Anthrax siren blaring its way down Barrack Road right now.

I am all for giving a local lad his chance, we all want to see a Geordie at the helm…but that job needs to be given on the back of results, qualifications and a decent track record, not just because it is the cheapest option.

Carver would be due a payout should he be told to leave, so perhaps this is another case of the club coming a very distant second to Ashley saving a few pounds.

Let’s hope that the board see the light and either get someone in who can fill the role properly, or at least give Carver the player recruitment that he deserves, to be given a fair crack at the job and that the comments of supporting him require the board to also show  ‘support’ for their appointment.